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cinema and the radio dazzle them with spectacles
of luxury and unrestricted living. They are not
the helpless Hodges and factory fodder of a
hundred years ago. They are educated up to
what must have been the middle-class level in
1889. They are indeed largely a squeezed-out
middle class, restless, impatient and as we shall
see extremely dangerous. They have assimilated
almost all of the lower strata that were formerly
illiterate drudges.
And this modernised excess population has no
longer any social humility. It has no belief in
the infallible wisdom of its rulers. It sees them
too clearly ; it knows about them, their waste,
vices and weaknesses, with an even exaggerated
vividness. It sees no reason for its exclusion from
the good things of life by such people. It has
lost enough of its inferiority to realise that most
of that inferiority is arbitrary and artificial.
You may say that this is a temporary state of
affairs, that the fall in population will presently
relieve the situation, by getting rid of this surplus
of the " not wanted 3\ But it will do nothing
of the sort. As population falls, consumption will
fall. Industries will still be producing more and ,
more efficiently for a shrinking market and they
will be employing fewer and fewer hands. A
state of five million people with half a million of